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Judge tells attacker to study Sikhs as part of sentence

A judge on Friday ordered an Oregon man to learn about the Sikh religion and submit a report to the court as part of his sentence for an attack on a Sikh shopkeeper in Salem, a civil rights group said.

Posted: May 24, 2019 3:52 PM
Updated: May 24, 2019 3:58 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered an Oregon man to learn about the Sikh religion and submit a report to the court as part of his sentence for an attack on a Sikh shopkeeper in Salem, a civil rights group said.

Andrew Ramsey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of intimidation and assault in the Jan. 14 incident targeting Harwinder Singh Dodd, the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the U.S., said in a release.

The Intimidation count is considered a hate crime, it said.

Witnesses said Ramsey pulled on Dodd's beard after he refused to sell him cigarettes without an ID, punched him and pulled him to the ground. Bystanders restrained Ramsey until police arrived.

Dodd, who came to the U.S. from India and owns the convenience store, noted in a written statement to the court that hate crimes are on the rise in America. The FBI says hate crimes increased by 40 percent in Oregon from 2016 to 2017.

"He didn't see me as a person," Dodd said of Ramsey. "He attacked me because of how I look. Because of my turban and beard — my religious articles of faith."

Police said Ramsey also threw his shoe at Dodd and snatched his turban. Sikh men don't cut their hair and cover it with a turban for religious reasons.

Marion County Judge Lindsay Partridge ordered Ramsey to attend the annual Sikh parade in June in Salem and report to the court what he learned about the Sikh community and culture, the Statesman Journal newspaper of Salem reported.

"Bigotry is the result of ignorance," Partridge said. "All of us are able to learn and benefit from cultures in our community."

He also sentenced Ramsey to three years of probation and 180 days in jail, with credit for time served, the newspaper said.

Partridge said mandatory drug, alcohol and mental health treatment was the best option for Ramsey, who has convictions for methamphetamine possession, domestic violence assault and theft.

Ramsey said he has had mental health problems his whole life and was ready to accept help, the newspaper said.

In 2018, members of Salem's Sikh community joined with other volunteers to aid 124 immigrants — many of them Sikhs — who were sent to a federal prison in nearby Sheridan by the Trump administration.

The Sikh temple in Salem offered the asylum-seekers religious and other services and a place to recover after they were released from months of incarceration.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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